Pitching for success

Building brand awareness, establishing thought leadership, and reaching a wider audience is a complex business in today’s hectic media channels. With some companies investing 44% of their budget on PR, it is also big business. Capturing the attention of journalists can be quite a challenge due to an increase in the number of journalists working from home and growing pressures to hit KPIs. In this blog, we discuss some of the steps needed to land pitches successfully and consider why using a PR agency could well be the strategy you are really looking for.

Know the journalists

We get to know journalists and publications in the sectors we work in. It takes time to build media connections, but building a personal and mutually beneficial relationship with journalists is beneficial for PRs, clients and journalists alike. We research and understand a publication’s target audience. Each pitch is well-aligned with the publication’s own content, tone, and style and written to engage readers’ interests. When we understand what interests and drives a journalist, and what pressures they face, it becomes easier to tailor a client’s pitch to cut through the noise and capture their attention.

A compelling story

Journalists want compelling stories that resonate with their readers and that will help them meet their KPIs, whether they are measured on page views, reach, engagement or other metrics.

When pitching content, we take time to consider the angle. We review the sector news daily and link the story to relevant and current news topics where appropriate. We can quickly decide if the story is unique and bold enough to stand alone or if it is part of a wider trend that we can discuss. And we always consider the potential impact of the story. Not every story is worth pitching and sometimes we need to find a new angle or occasionally advise a client to focus on a different story to get noticed. Every pitch we make explains why the content matters and how it adds value to the intended audience.

Everyone loves a good story, and journalists are certainly no exception. Good storytelling is key to capturing attention and generating interest but keeping it honest and truthful is essential. A fantastic story based on theory or conjecture may initially pique a journalist’s interest but will soon be found out and has the potential to damage our reputation as well as your brand. So, bear with us when we check the facts with you and be confident that we will always pitch an honest substantiated story.

The art of an engaging pitch

Most journalists receive hundreds of pitches every day, so we make sure a pitch is eye-catching. The first opportunity is an attention-grabbing subject line aligned with the journalist’s interests and the publication’s focus. Once we have their attention, we sustain it with easy-to-read, concise key points summarising the pitch. We make good use of bullet points, subheadings, and short paragraphs to keep the content accessible and readable. Journalists are busy and appreciate pitches prepared in a digestible format. It really is a skilled art to prepare a concise successful pitch!

Follow up

An immediate response isn’t always forthcoming, however good the pitch, and it is sometimes necessary to follow up a pitch to help get it noticed. We give a journalist time to review the initial pitch before considering sending a polite, short follow-up. The days of calling journalists on the phone have largely disappeared, with many now working at home. Building relationships using email and social media communications is a valuable alternative option, but takes time, resources, and contact information that many companies just can’t accommodate in-house.

The power of relationships

The relationships that we have developed with journalists throughout the many years we have been working in the clean tech and tech sectors are a huge advantage when we are pitching content for our clients. We build relationships that deliver long-term success and ultimately increases the visibility of our clients in the media.

Pitching content effectively requires a well-planned, strategic and thoughtful approach. By keeping up to date with sector news, knowing the intended audience, writing compelling stories, and personalising pitches, we enhance the chances of capturing the attention of journalists and securing media coverage.

Preparing a good pitch and building relationships with journalists takes time – a lot of time. If you are struggling to resource an effective media relations strategy, then partner with an agency like us, we would be happy to help get your story heard.